Last week, this Elana Schor post at DC Streetsblog pointed me to the IBM Commuter Pain Index (pdf!), a survey that IBM does on the psychological toll that commuting takes on people.  She’s interested in the fact that a clear majority of those surveyed said they’d pay at least $10 to have their commutes shortened by 15 minutes.  Of course, the fact that people say they’d do that doesn’t mean they actually would, but it’s worth keeping in mind whenever we’re talking about trying to manage congestion by pricing roads.

But I was also interested to see what people reported for how expensive gas would have to get before they’d start looking for ways to get around besides cars.  Just under 50% of drivers reported that they’d start looking to get out of their cars when gas hit $4 – $5 a gallon.  Which is to say, they’d start getting out of their cars when the price of gas started creeping up towards European levels.  That, I suspect, is how we’re really going to increase the share of people taking transit in metro Vancouver.

More on the IBM survey from Adam Chistensen at A Smarter Planet.

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